Why What You Pay Attention To Matters

Why What You Pay Attention To Matters

There’s something important I know about you – attention plays a big role in your life, both in the past and the future. Think about it: the things you’ve paid attention to before have likely influenced where you are now.

On the flip side, if you ignore something, it usually doesn’t affect your life much. That can be good, like ignoring regular news or social media, which might not impact you much. But it can also be bad, like not paying attention to things like sleep or posture until they cause serious problems.

What you pay attention to really matters. If you’re always focused on distractions, it’s tough to be successful. So, it’s crucial to pay attention to things that help you reach your goals.

This might sound easy, but it’s actually hard to focus on the right things. There’s a whole field of science about this called attention management. We’re naturally drawn to new and sudden things because, thousands of years ago, it helped us survive in the wild.

But today, companies use this to grab our attention and make money. You “pay” a company with your attention, and things like views, likes, and followers all have value.

To make sure your attention goes where it should, you need two things: self-awareness and self-regulation.


This means knowing when you’re paying attention to something that’s not helping you. Whether it’s a small distraction like checking out the latest tech trends when you’re supposed to be working, or a big distraction like spending too much time learning about something instead of actually doing it.


Once you know you’re getting distracted, you need to be able to pull yourself back to the right things. This can be tough, especially when distractions are tempting. It’s like having two minds – one that’s drawn to distractions and another that knows better.

You can make it easier for the smarter part of your mind by doing a few things:

Control your environment: Set it up so distractions are rare, and it’s easy to work towards your goals. This is why people who work from home create boundaries between work and life since the physical boundary of an office isn’t there.

Control your behaviour: Use tools like the Pomodoro Technique or block specific times on your calendar to guide yourself to more productive habits.

Control your thoughts: What you think about can become real, so focus on things that help you reach your goals. Don’t waste time thinking about things that distract you or that you can’t change. Be practical, positive, and can-do.

In conclusion, what you pay attention to shapes most things in your life. Identify your goals, pay attention to the right things, and work on understanding and controlling your attention. Make it easier by managing your environment, behaviour, and thoughts.

As you navigate the tricky world of attention, remember: what captures your focus will define the story of your life.